This list of Internet censorship and surveillance by country provides information on the types and levels of Internet censorship and surveillance that is occurring in countries around the world.
Detailed country by country information on Internet censorship and surveillance is provided in the Freedom on the Net reports from Freedom House, by the OpenNet Initiative, by Reporters Without Borders, and in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices from the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The ratings produced by several of these organizations are summarized below as well as in the Censorship by country article.
The Freedom on the Net reports provide analytical reports and numerical ratings regarding the state of Internet freedom for countries worldwide. The countries surveyed represent a sample with a broad range of geographical diversity and levels of economic development, as well as varying levels of political and media freedom. The surveys ask a set of questions designed to measure each country's level of Internet and digital media freedom, as well as the access and openness of other digital means of transmitting information, particularly mobile phones and text messaging services.
Results are presented for three areas:
The results from the three areas are combined into a total score for a country (from 0 for best to 100 for worst) and countries are rated as "Free" (0 to 30), "Partly Free" (31 to 60), or "Not Free" (61 to 100) based on the totals.
Starting in 2009 Freedom House has produced nine editions of the report. There was no report in 2010. The reports generally cover the period from June through May.
|Free||4 (27%)||8 (22%)||14 (30%)||17 (29%)||19 (29%)||18 (28%)||17 (26%)||16 (25%)||15 (23%)|
|Partly free||7 (47%)||18 (49%)||20 (43%)||29 (48%)||31 (48%)||28 (43%)||28 (43%)||28 (43%)||30 (46%)|
|Not free||4 (27%)||11 (30%)||13 (28%)||14 (23%)||15 (23%)||19 (29%)||20 (31%)||21 (32%)||20 (31%)|
|Improved||n/a||5 (33%)||11 (31%)||12 (26%)||12 (18%)||15 (23%)||34 (52%)||32 (49%)||19 (29%)|
|Declined||n/a||9 (60%)||17 (47%)||28 (60%)||36 (55%)||32 (49%)||14 (22%)||13 (20%)||26 (40%)|
|No change||n/a||1 (7%)||8 (22%)||7 (15%)||17 (26%)||18 (28%)||17 (26%)||20 (31%)||20 (31%)|
In a series of reports issued between 2007 and 2013 the OpenNet Initiative (ONI) classified the magnitude of censorship or filtering occurring in a country in four areas of activity.
The magnitude or level of censorship was classified as follows:
The classifications were done for the following areas of activity:
Due to legal concerns the ONI does not check for filtering of child pornography and because their classifications focus on technical filtering, they do not include other types of censorship.
Through 2010 the OpenNet Initiative had documented Internet filtering by governments in over forty countries worldwide. The level of filtering was classified in 26 countries in 2007 and in 25 countries in 2009. Of the 41 separate countries classified in these two years, seven were found to show no evidence of filtering (Egypt, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States), while one was found to engage in pervasive filtering in all areas (China), 13 were found to engage in pervasive filtering in one or more areas, and 34 were found to engage in some level of filtering in one or more areas. Of the 10 countries classified in both 2007 and 2009, one reduced its level of filtering (Pakistan), five increased their level of filtering (Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, South Korea, and Uzbekistan), and four maintained the same level of filtering (China, Iran, Myanmar, and Tajikistan).
In December 2014 ONI announced that:
ONI's summarized global Internet filtering data was last updated on 20 September 2013.
In 2006, Reporters without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), a Paris-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press, started publishing a list of "Enemies of the Internet". The organization classifies a country as an enemy of the internet because "all of these countries mark themselves out not just for their capacity to censor news and information online but also for their almost systematic repression of Internet users." In 2007 a second list of countries "Under Surveillance" (originally "Under Watch") was added.
|Enemies of the Internet:
||Current Countries Under Surveillance:[failed verification]
Past Countries Under Surveillance:
When the "Enemies of the Internet" list was introduced in 2006, it listed 13 countries. From 2006 to 2012 the number of countries listed fell to 10 and then rose to 12. The list was not updated in 2013. In 2014 the list grew to 19 with an increased emphasis on surveillance in addition to censorship. The list has not been updated since 2014.
When the "Countries under surveillance" list was introduced in 2008, it listed 10 countries. Between 2008 and 2012 the number of countries listed grew to 16 and then fell to 11. The number grew to 12 with the addition of Norway in 2020. The list was last updated in 2020.
On 12 March 2013 Reporters Without Borders published a Special report on Internet Surveillance. The report includes two new lists:
The five "State Enemies of the Internet" named in March 2013 are: Bahrain, China, Iran, Syria, and Vietnam.
The five "Corporate Enemies of the Internet" named in March 2013 are: Amesys (France), Blue Coat Systems (U.S.), Gamma (UK and Germany), Hacking Team (Italy), and Trovicor (Germany).
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices is an annual series of reports on human rights conditions in countries throughout the world. Among other topics the reports include information on freedom of speech and the press including Internet freedom; freedom of assembly and association; and arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence.
The reports are prepared by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor within the United States Department of State. The reports cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The first report was issued in 1977 covering the year 1976.
Main article: Internet censorship and surveillance in Africa
Main article: Internet censorship and surveillance in the Americas
Main article: Internet censorship and surveillance in Asia
Main article: Internet censorship and surveillance in Europe
Main article: Internet censorship and surveillance in Oceania
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